NACM’s Credit Managers’ Index for February on a Decline

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February’s economic report from the National Association of Credit Management dropped to the lowest it’s been this year. The combined index fell from 55.1 in January to 53.2 this month.

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It would not be an understatement to assert that there is suddenly a credit crunch manifesting and that hasn’t been an issue since 2009.

The February report of the Credit Managers’ Index (CMI) from the National Association of Credit Management (NACM) significantly dropped this month, an unexpected decrease given where projections were a few months ago. The monthly economic indicator’s combined scored declined to 53.2 in February, down from 55.1 in January.

“That is a nasty drop and at no point in the last year has it been that low,” said Chris Kuehl, Kansas City-based NACM economist. “In December it stood at 54.9 and that was seen as bad enough. The reduction in the overall score was reflected in reductions across the board—favorable and unfavorable factors and in both the manufacturing and service sectors.”

The survey measures activity in manufacturing and service sectors among business-to-business credit professionals. According to the survey, the index of favorable factors fell to 57.2 and sales dropped to 59.—both categories falling from the 60 range since March 2014. The new credit applications category also set a record, dropping from 58.3 to 54.4.

“The one piece of positive news was dollar collections as they moved from 60.1 to 62.8, but the only way to describe amount of credit extended is collapse,” Kuehl explained. “In January, it was at 62.2 and now it sits at 52.1. That is a nearly catastrophic decline and one that is worse than anything seen in close to three years. It would not be an understatement to assert that there is suddenly a credit crunch manifesting and that hasn’t been an issue since 2009.”

Other categories that declined in February include the Index of unfavorable factors, rejections of credit applications, disputes, dollar amount beyond terms, and filing for bankruptcies. Showing a small increase included accounts placed for collection and dollar amount of customer deductions.

For a full breakdown of the manufacturing and service sector data and graphics, view the complete February 2015 report at http://web.nacm.org/CMI/PDF/CMIcurrent.pdf. CMI archives may also be viewed on NACM’s website at http://web.nacm.org/cmi/cmi.asp.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CREDIT MANAGEMENT
NACM, headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, supports more than 15,000 business credit and financial professionals worldwide with premier industry services, tools and information. NACM and its network of affiliated associations are the leading resource for credit and financial management information, education, products and services designed to improve the management of business credit and accounts receivable. NACM’s collective voice has influenced federal legislative policy results concerning commercial business and trade credit to our nation’s policy makers for more than 100 years, and continues to play an active part in legislative issues pertaining to business credit and corporate bankruptcy. NACM's annual Credit Congress & Exposition conference is the largest gathering of credit professionals in the world.

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Jennifer Lehman
National Association of Credit Management
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